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Assuring Fall Protection When Working At Heights. Stan Liang, CIH, CSP, CET KTA-Tator, Inc. Brief overview of the following: When fall protection is required Approaches for controlling fall hazards Proper usage of fall protection OSHA fall protection requirements

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assuring fall protection when working at heights
Assuring Fall Protection When Working At Heights

Stan Liang, CIH, CSP, CET

KTA-Tator, Inc.

webinar objectives
Brief overview of the following:

When fall protection is required

Approaches for controlling fall hazards

Proper usage of fall protection

OSHA fall protection requirements

Resources for additional information

Webinar Objectives
fall hazards in the workplace
Fall Hazards in the Workplace
  • Third most common cause of fatalities
  • Virtually all fatalities are preventable, according to an OSHA study
fall protection
Fall Protection
  • Even brief exposures to fall hazards not permitted by OSHA
  • 100% fall protection policies are necessary
causes of falls
Causes of Falls
  • Personal factors (i.e., lack of concentration, illness)
  • Environmental factors (i.e., poor lighting, slippery surfaces, weather)
  • Poor housekeeping
  • Poor planning
fall protection fall prevention systems
Fall Protection /Fall Prevention Systems
  • Plan for fall protection in advance
  • Eliminate fall hazards where possible (e.g. use alternatives to personal fall arrest such as aerial lifts)
fall protection fall prevention systems7
Fall Protection /Fall Prevention Systems
  • Fall prevention
    • Guardrail systems
    • Covers for openings
  • Fall protection
    • Personal fall arrest systems
    • Safety nets
regulation overview
Regulation Overview
  • 29 CFR 1926
  • Subpart M - Fall Protection
  • 1926.500 - 1926.503
subpart m
Subpart M
  • 1926.500 - Scope, application, and definitions
  • 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection
  • 1926.502 - Fall protection systems criteria and practices
  • 1926.503 - Training requirements
subpart m appendices
Subpart MAppendices

Appendix A – Determining Roof Widths

Appendix B – Guardrail Systems

Appendix C – Personal Fall Arrest

Appendix D – Positioning Devices

Appendix E – Sample Fall Protection Plan

1926 500 scope and application
1926.500 Scope and Application
  • Subpart M outlines the requirements and criteria for fall protection in all construction work places covered under 29 CFR 1926.
1926 501 duty to have fall protection
1926.501 Duty to Have Fall Protection
  • Requirements for employers to provide fall protection
  • Applies to unprotected side or edge six (6) feet or more above a lower level
protection from falling objects
Protection from Falling Objects
  • When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employer must require workers to wear hard hats and implement one of the following:
    • Install toe boards, screens, or guardrail systems; or
    • Install a canopy structure; or
    • Install barricades and keep employees from entering the barricaded area
1926 502 general requirements
1926.502 General Requirements
  • Provide and install all fall protection systems before the employee begins work that necessitates fall protection
1926 502 guardrail requirements
1926.502Guardrail Requirements
  • 42-inch height requirements (+/– 3 inches)
  • Mid rails, screens, mesh or equivalent structural member
  • Screens and mesh, if used, must extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports
1926 502 guardrail requirements16
1926.502Guardrail Requirements
  • Intermediate members, if used, must not be more than 19 inches apart
  • Guardrails must withstand a force of 200 pounds on the top rail
  • Mid rails must be able to withstand a force of 150 pounds
  • Must be smooth to prevent cuts or clothing snags
1926 502 guardrail requirements17
1926.502Guardrail Requirements
  • Must be at least 1/4 inch diameter (wire rope)
  • Use high visibility flagging at 6 foot intervals if wire rope guardrails are used
  • If used around accessways, offset or provide one guardrail with a gate
  • Inspect fiber rope guardrails as necessary
1926 502 safety net requirements
1926.502 Safety Net Requirements
  • Installed as close to the work surface as possible, but in no case more than 30 feet below such level
  • Sufficient clearance under them to prevent contact with any surface or structure below
1926 502 safety net requirements19
1926.502 Safety Net Requirements
  • Safety nets must extend outward from the structure as follows:

Distance from Horizontal

working surface distance beyond

to ground structure

up to 5 feet 8 feet

5 to 10 feet 10 feet

over 10 feet 13 feet

1926 502 safety net requirements20
1926.502Safety Net Requirements
  • Test when installed or relocated
  • Inspect once per week
  • Remove tools and other debris as soon as possible
1926 502 safety net requirements21
1926.502Safety Net Requirements
  • Maximum mesh size shall be 36 square inches (6" on a side)
  • Connections between net panels shall not be more than 6" apart
  • Control fall hazards via personal fall arrest, covers or guardrails.
  • Protect employees on walking/working surfaces from tripping hazards.
  • Protect employees from objects that may fall through holes.
1926 503 covers
  • Capable of supporting twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials
  • Secured to prevent accidental displacement
  • Marked with the word “HOLE” or “COVER” or color coded
personal fall arrest systems
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • A Personal Fall Arrest System includes:
    • Anchorage
    • Connectors (snap hooks) and D-Rings
    • Lanyard (dual lanyard for 100% fall protection)
    • Full body harness
  • Other components may include a self-retracting lifeline, vertical and horizontal lifelines, and a rope grab device
  • As of 1/1/98, the use of body belts is prohibited
personal fall arrest systems25
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • Injury is still possible when personal fall arrest is used
  • Personal fall arrest is a last resort
  • Investigate alternatives before using personal fall arrest
general requirements for personal fall arrest systems
General Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • Must limit the maximum arresting force on a worker to 1800 pounds
  • Lanyard must be connected to D-ring on harness between the shoulder blades
  • Anchorage should be at the same level or higher than the harness D-ring height
personal fall arrest systems27
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • System must be rigged so that the employee:
    • Cannot free fall more than six (6) feet
    • Is brought to a complete stop with a minimum deceleration distance of 3.5 feet
personal fall arrest systems28
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • Ensure that adequate clearance is available when using personal fall arrest systems.
  • With a 6 foot lanyard, 18.5 feet of clearance is needed.
personal fall arrest system
Personal Fall Arrest System
  • Where there is inadequate clearance for a 6 foot lanyard:
    • Use a shorter lanyard
    • Move anchorage point higher
    • Use a retractable lifeline
    • Consider alternative to personal fall arrest systems, such as a restraint system
anchor points
Anchor Points
  • Importance of anchor point selection:
    • Strength of the entire personal fall arrest system is dependent on the strength of the connection to the anchor point
  • Anchor point criteria:
    • 5000 lb. per employee attached
    • Safety factor of at least 2
    • Not used to support other equipment
anchorage points
Anchorage Points
  • Use of existing structures - most likely scenario:
    • A “qualified person” must evaluate each “make-shift” anchor point
    • In general guardrail systems or scaffold platforms should not be used as anchor points
anchor points swing falls
Anchor PointsSwing Falls
  • Keep anchor point overhead to prevent swing fall hazards
  • Pendulum like motion can result in injuries due to collision with objects
anchorage points33
Anchorage Points
  • Use beam clamps or other temporary connectors specifically designed for use in fall protection system.
  • Do not wrap a lanyard around the anchorage – unless designed by the manufacturer for this type of connection
horizontal lifelines
Horizontal Lifelines
  • Design must be by a qualified person (with a safety factor of at least two)
  • Multiple tie offs only if permitted by qualified person
vertical lifelines
Vertical Lifelines
  • One person per vertical lifeline
  • Minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs
  • Minimum 12 feet of lifeline below lowest point of travel or extend lifeline to ground
  • Weight or tie off bottom of line
vertical lifelines rope grabs
Vertical LifelinesRope Grabs
  • Must be compatible with the lifeline
  • Installed with directional arrow pointing up
  • Should be equipped with “anti panic” feature
  • Knots in lanyard or lifeline reduce strength 50%
  • Do not connect one or more lanyards together
  • Consider retractable, horizontal, and vertical lifelines or different anchorage when a lanyard is too short
  • Looping a rope lanyard or lifeline around an “I” beam can reduce system strength by 70%. Use:
    • Cross arm straps
    • Web lanyard
    • Wire rope lanyard
    • Padding to avoid sharp edges
snaphooks and caribiners
Snaphooks and Caribiners
  • Must be locking type
  • Compatible with anchorage
  • Caribiners must be the “auto lock” type
harness breakaway clip
Harness Breakaway Clip
  • Used for attachment of unused dual lanyard snap hook.
  • Prevents “blow out” failure during a fall
rescue procedures
Rescue Procedures
  • Employers relying on personal fall arrest systems must have pre-planned rescue procedures or make sure workers can rescue themselves in the event of a fall.
  • The availability of rescue personnel, ladders, or other equipment should be considered.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Prior to each use, check equipment for:

Cuts Deterioration

Tears Contact with fire or corrosives

Abrasions Distorted parts

Mold Loose or damaged mountings

Stretching Non-functioning parts

Alterations Fading

Rotting Deterioration

Wear Visible reduction in rope diameter

  • Do not use equipment previously used to arrest a fall.
  • Discard fall protection heavily contaminated with paint or other chemicals.
  • Do not mix equipment from different manufacturers.
cleaning fall protection
Cleaning Fall Protection
  • Wash harnesses and lanyards with warm soapy water followed by fresh water rinse
  • Do not use industrial solvents on synthetic material
  • Do not oil parts unless directed by manufacturer
fall protection storage
Fall Protection Storage
  • Keep synthetic materials away from direct sunlight
  • Store in a cool, dry place
positioning devices
Positioning Devices
  • Positioning devices must meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.502, paragraph (e).
  • Requirements include anchorage strength, maximum free fall permitted, and equipment inspections.
  • Applies to restraint systems
roofing work on low slope roofs
Roofing Work on Low-Slope Roofs
  • Options for fall protection include:
    • Guardrail systems
    • Personal fall arrest
    • Safety nets
    • Guardrail/warning line systems
    • Warning line/safety net
    • Warning line/personal fall arrest
    • Warning line/safety monitor
wall openings
Wall Openings
  • Fall protection is required under the following conditions:
    • Outside bottom edge is more than 6 feet above a lower level; and
    • Inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches above the walking/working surface
wall openings49
Wall Openings
  • Options for fall protection include:
    • Guardrails
    • Safety nets
    • Personal fall arrest
additional fall hazards regulated by osha
Additional Fall Hazards Regulated by OSHA
  • Hoist areas – guard rails and personal fall arrest
  • Formwork and reinforcing steel – personal fall arrest, positioning device systems
  • Excavations – guard rails (when excavation can not be readily seen)
  • Dangerous equipment - guard rails or equipment guards
additional fall hazards regulated by osha cont
Additional Fall Hazards Regulated by OSHA (cont.)
  • Leading edges – guard rails, safety nets, personal fall arrest
  • Steep roofs – guard rails, safety nets, personal fall arrest
  • Residential construction – guard rails, personal fall arrest, or safety nets
1926 503 training requirements
1926.503 Training Requirements
  • Fall hazards in the work area
  • Erecting, assembling and maintaining fall protection
  • Use and operation of fall protection equipment
  • Handling and storage of materials and the erection of overhead protection
  • Requirements of the standard
ladder safety
Ladder Safety
  • Fall prevention systems (e.g. ladder climbing devices) are only required for fixed ladders.
  • Fixed ladders must have fall protection when the height exceeds 24 feet.
fixed ladder fall protection options
Fixed Ladder Fall Protection Options
  • Ladder climbing safety device
  • Self retracting lifeline
  • Cage
fixed ladder cages
Fixed Ladder Cages
  • Rest platforms required at 50 foot intervals
  • Prevents falls due to exhaustion
osha scaffold standard fall protection requirements
OSHA Scaffold StandardFall Protection Requirements
  • Fall protection is required when employees are more than 10 feet above a lower level.
  • Fall protection is required for erection or dismantling of scaffolds, if the competent person determines it is feasible.
  • Temporary containment platforms are regulated by OSHA as scaffolds
major osha requirements for aerial lifts
Major OSHA Requirements for Aerial Lifts
  • Fall protection worn and anchored to boom or basket
  • Stand firmly on the floor of the basket
  • Fall protection can not be connected to adjacent pole, structure, or equipment
additional information
Additional Information
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L (Scaffolds)
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M (Fall Protection)
  • 29 CFR Subpart X (Ladders and Stairways)
  • OSHA compliance directives (Scaffolds CPL 2-1.23) and letters of interpretation
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Health and safety professionals